Jan 23, 2012

Thoughts on Palestinian conference

In this week in history: Filastin news-paper closed by the Ottoman authorities after Zionist complains (1914), bylaws of the "Muslim-Christian Association approved in Jerusalem (1919), First Palestinian Arab Congress opens in Jerusalem (1919), over 100 peaceful demonstrators were gunned down by British forces in Baghdad (1948), over 60,000 Palestinian demonstrated in Nazareth under the collective slogan of ending the occupation and giving the Palestinian people legitimate rights (1988).

The conference in Jericho was on changing course; some papers presented were excellent and most comments were exactly on target. I had heard similar comments from Palestinians in exile in the USA, Holland, Belgium, and Italy. But our block is not in diagnosis nor is it in the prognosis but it is in actually in administering the therapy or medicine which might be bitter at first.  Everyone talks about creating an alternative political faction to the existing ones, dismantling the Palestinian Authority and returning to the liberation struggle, and/or changing the self-destructive direction of two-states to the winning strategy of one-state advocacy.  People are finally ready for these.  The question remains: who will do it?  It definetly will not come from any of the existing aging leaders who like the limelight and who enjoy the status quo while TALKING (!) about "a Palestinian state  with Jerusalem as its capital". 

It is precisely the current political landscape that prevents many Palestinians from engaging in rneeded forms of resistance and delay the next wave of revolt (intifada). The therapy has to be administered from the people not benefitting from positions and visibility, especially the younger generation.  My suggestion is for the youth to call a meeting, not to study the problem or speak of different solutions, but to implement the known real agenda of change.  The paradigm of one state for all its people is generally advocated by most Palestinians and it demands changing concepts of ethno- or religio-centric nation-state to concepts of equal citizinship and application of all human rights (including economic rights).  Our struggle against racist ideologies was distracted by the "Oslo accords" but even whether this course was taken in good or bad intentions, that era has clearly ended (thanks to Zionist greed ansd racism).  It was actually written in those same accords that it was to last a period of 5 years and it is now 20 years of deception and it is enough. 

I am teaching a course this semester in Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (a subject of my 2004 book "Sharing the Land of Canaan"). The syllabus and reading material maybe interesting for readers of this list.  Any input woud be appreciated. http://www.qumsiyeh.org/syllabus/ .

Updated resource (some links expired and were removed): "This year will mark 64 years since the founding of the state of Israel on the ruins of 540 Palestinian villages and towns.  As 7 million of the 11 million Palestinians in the world remain refugees or displaced people denied basic human rights, it is more important to debunk myths and lies. I updated this list to now include 64 lies/myths (one for each year)." http://www.qumsiyeh.org/liesandtruths/

Jewish Newspaper Editor: Israel Should Consider Assassinating Obama 
(after an uproar about this, the editor decided to apologize. The talk in Israeli media was not that this is impossible to happen but that it should not be said and it is "stupid" to say.  Israel ofcourse is well known for its targeted assasinations and bombings including those done via "false flag" operations such as the Lavon Affair when American and British interests were targeted by the Mosad while blaming others.  Israel also intentionally targeted the USS Liberty ship to stop its intelligence gathering and claimed it was a mistaken attack)

EuroMediterranean Human Rights Network condemns the attack against Gaza human rights defender Mahmoud AbuRahma http://www.euromedrights.org/en/news-en/emhrn-releases/statements-2012/10940.html

Cyber-attacks strike Israeli stock exchange, airline, banks

Fellowship for one semester Postdoctoral Study at Columbia: The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Award in Palestine Studies (deadline 3 February) http://www.columbia.edu/cu/palestine/about/fellowships.html

(Video) Road to Tantura: Tantura is one of dozens of villages in which massacres were committed to drive their inhabitants out in 1948. This is a personal story of a Palestinian http://vimeo.com/34769420

Jan 16, 2012

From de Bouilon to Bwn Gurion

Rushing between talks in Europe leaves little time for any sightseeing.   As we pass by the Royal Palace in Brussles, Belgium and cannot stop as we have to rush to the train station. But in that large square stands an imposing statue of Godfrey de Bouilon,  the first ruler of Jerusalem in the period of the crusaders (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Square_(Brussels).  What jumped to my mind was Herbert Samuel the first British Zionist high-commissioner of Palestine and David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel.  This was my first visit to Belgium and I was thinking how here like in other countries, there is the contrast between people’s vision and history and official mythologies and monuments.  The people I worked with are common Belgians of all walks of life who have a different take on their history than official national myths.  One said:” look at the palace of justice and how huge it is.  It is intended to make the common Belgian feel guilty and accept the rule of the state.”  Europe is like the US where  the state teaches myths: about Columbus discovering America, about thanksgiving, about 1792, and promotion of freedom and democracy clash with the reality of ethnic cleansing of natives, slavery, Vietnam and Iraq (see Howard Zinn’s book a People’s History of the United States).   Here also there is a people history that clashes with official history. While I should learn the language more so that I can read that people history,  I can hear it from people themselves: the hospitable and generous common people volunteering in the Platform Charleroi Palestine (http://www.pourlapalestine.be/) , www.intal.be, www.association-belgo-palestienne,.org Rete di solidarietà con la Palestina – Milano, ISM-Udine, and the Nederlands Palestina Komittee (www.palestina-komitee.nl ).  In one week visiting Italy Belgium, and Holland, I already spoke to over 1000 individuals of all background and ages (including three high schools). Israeli propaganda posters for “Visit Israel” have Boycott  Israel stickers. Europeans hope to move beyond the history of support for colonialism and wars towards coexistence and concern for fellow-human beings.  Thus,  Europeans prepares to join either the Global March to Jerusalem March 30th  (www.globalmarchtojerusalem.org) or the Welcome to Palestine Campaign 15 April (see http://bienvenuepalestine.com/ ).

The truth of what has happened and what is happening cannot be hidden by the gate-keepers in official media whether in Europe or occupied Palestine! Any serious student of history knows that crusader leaders including de Bouilon would best be described as a war criminal and that the same can be said for Herbert Samuel and David Ben Gurion.  The ghosts of these folks still cause great pain to so many people.  They were not national or historic leaders except in a negative sense.  The people they claimed to represent did not on the long-run do better because of their actions. On the contrary, suffering only came from their arrogance and brutality.   Christianity and Christians did not benefit in the long-term from the “Christian Crusaders” who committed massacres. Judaism and Jews did not and will not in the long term benefit from the modern-day Crusaders who replaced a cross with a Star of David in their flags.  History marches on and new generations come about and humanity gets mixed in ways that are ironic.  De Bouilon who murdered Jews and Muslims (and some of my Christian ancestors because they were Eastern Christians) would turn in his grave to note how things have changed today.  Muslims and Jews thrive in this country to the chagrin of any remaining De Bouilon supporters.   Similarly in many years from now, BenGurion’s statue may still be in Tel Aviv but the face of the country and its attitude of its transformed citizens will be human and humane.

Videos: 2011 B’Tselem camera Project distilled one year of misery in 3 minutes
And even more checkpoint brutality

Join us also for the Global March to Jerusalem
Alternative Information Center "The demographic battle for Jerusalem"

Professor of Hate: Israeli "scholar" urges ethnic cleansing of Bedouins

Must Read: Ethnic Cleansing of Invented People By Miko Peled January 04, 2012 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30156.htm

I saw Sabra hummus for sale at my high school cafeteria and decided to act  by Nadine Darwish
The faces of new Egypt: Muslim cleric in Egypt congratulates Christians in Egyptian Church

A Zionist Rabbi publicly apologizes to our friend Rich Siegel
Rich Siegel was honored at an event I attended
I listened to Rich’s wonderful new CD “The Way to Peace” and I highly recommend it – it is beautiful
(visit http://www.richsiegel.com/)

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a Villager at home

Jan 14, 2012

20 punti/points

Italiano al di sotto-Italian Below

20 punti toccati dal Dr. Qumsieh nel suo discorso
20 Points that are made in Dr. Qumsiyeh speech (Palestine-Israel in brief)

1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed.  Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened. 

2- This is also where civilization began including development of the first alphabet (by Phoenician Canaanites) and the first laws.  It was where we first developed sciences like astronomy, engineering, and mathematics

3- The original inhabitants of the Western part of the Fertile Crescent were called Canaanites and the original language was called Aramaic which Jesus spoke (he was born in the country called then Palestine and thus he was Palestinian)

4- The old Aramaic language gave rise to derived languages including Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew and this language group is called Semetic languages

5- Arabic alphabet evolved in Southern Canaan (today’s Jordan and Palestine) while the Latin alphabet evolved in Northern Canaan (Phoenicia, present day Lebanon and Syria).  The Alphabet used in Europe today came from our part of the world.

6- The people of Southern Canaan including Palestine endured many invasions of armies with nearly 15 times that local people were ruled by kings or emperors (Persian, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Israelite etc). 

7- Local religious ideas evolved over the ages from Cananitic Pagan ideas to monotheistic ideas to Christianity (first century), Rabbinical Judaism (3rd century), Islam (7th Century).,

8- Palestine was always multi-cultural, multi-religious society despite attempts to homogenize it in certain periods (e.g. the Crusaders killed and exiled Jews, Muslims, and Christians of other sects).

9- Jews of today, like Christians and Muslims of today come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  They are thus genetically (biologically) heterogeneous.

10- Before the wave of European Jewish immigration, Palestinians were of various religions: about 85% Muslim, 10% Christian, 5% Jewish and others. For hundreds of years Palestinians of various religions lived in relative harmony.

11- Zionism is a political idea that spread among a minority of European Jews who adapted to the European notions of ethnocentric nationalism and thus claims Jews of today should gather in Palestine and create a Jewish state because of discrimination in Europe.  Socialist Jews and other Jews believed in fighting for equal rights.  Zionists thought that anti-Jewish feelings in Europe serves their interests and thus even collaborated with racists.  There was a transfer agreement between the third Reich and the Zionist movement. Zionists also lobbied Western governments not to take in European Jewish refugees so that they all go to Palestine.

12- Zionism started in the mid 19th century with formation of the “Jewish Colonization Association” and became an international movement in 1897 at the first World Zionist Congress.  To achieve its goals, its leaders advocated transferring the native non-Jewish Palestinians.

13- The United States and other Western countries under influence of a Zionist lobby pushed for the creation of a “Jewish state” of Israel in Palestine despite the wishes of the native people. 

14- Between 1947-1949, 530 Palestinian villages and towns were completely destroyed and their people made refugees.  This process of forcing Palestinians out of their land continued in other forms since the founding of Israel in May 1948.  Today 70% of the 11 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people.

15- Current day Israel has a set of discriminatory laws that fit the descriptions given in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Every month, the Israeli Knesset takes on more such racist laws.

16- In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank (including the old city of Jerusalem) and Gaza strip.  Together these two areas are 22% of historic Palestine.  Israel began immediately to build Jewish colonial settlements in these Palestinian lands. Contrary to International law, there are now over 200 settlements on our lands housing over 0.5 million Jewish colonial settlers.

17- Israel has built walls around the remaining Palestinian enclaves (ghettos, people warehouses, cantons, reservations) and isolated them from each other and from the rest of Palestine.  These walls separate Palestinians from their lands, from other Palestinians, from schools, from hospitals etc.  As an example, the Bethlehem district houses 180,000 natives, some 50,000 of us living there are refugees from 1948 period.  All of us are restricted now to develop and live on only 13% of the original Bethlehem district size.  87% of the district is now under control of Israeli settlements, military bases, closed military zones etc.  The Bethlehem people are isolated behind a wall and even Jerusalem (6 km away) is off-limits to us.

18- Colonialism involves violence.  Over 80 massacres were committed against native Palestinians.  Over 60,000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers.  This is ten times more than the number of Israeli civilians (most colonial settlers) killed by Palestinians.  Palestinians resisted colonialism over the past 130 years mostly by using non-violent popular resistance something not widely discussed in the Western countries because of attempts to vilify the victims. 

19- Palestinians and other Arab countries in conflict with Zionism have been “unreasonably reasonable” as one diplomat described it.  We accept all elements of International law` and all UN (United Nations) resolutions on the issue.  Israel by contrast, violated over 60 UN Security Council resolutions and over 200 UN General Assembly Resolutions.  Without the USA using its veto power to shield Israel from International law at the UN SC, the number would have been doubled.

20- We Palestinians demand and are struggling for our right to return and to self-determination.  We call for a democratic pluralistic state for people of all religions in our historic homeland of Palestine.  We call for equality and justice.  People in Europe and around the world can support us by using education, by coming to visit us, and by Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS).  This is a collective human struggle similar to what happened in challenging apartheid in South Africa. 

There are` many books and references available to document each point.
20 punti toccati dal Dr. Qumsieh nel suo discorso

1- La Palestina è situata ad ovest della Mezzaluna Fertile, un'area che comprende Palestina, Giordania, Libano, Siria e Iraq. Qui, nella Mezzaluna Fertile, si sviluppò l'agricoltura, presero avvio per la prima volta nella storia  le pratiche di domesticazione degli animali (es. capre, asini e cammelli) e di piante (grano, orzo, ceci, lenticchie, olivi)

2- In quest'area si svilupparono anche le prime forme di civiltà , il primo alfabeto (dal Fenicio-Cananeo) e le prime leggi. Fu anche il luogo in cui si svilupparono le scienze come l'astropnomia, l'ingegneria e la matematica.

3- Gli abitanti originari della parte ocidentale della Mezzaluna Fertile erano chiamati Cananei e la lingua originale parlata era l'Aramaico, la lingua parlata da Gesù (nacque nel paese che fu dneominato in seguito Palestina e pertanto era Palestinese). 

4- Dall'Aramaico antico derivarono il Siriaco, l'Arabo e l'Ebraico che assieme costituiscono il ceppo delle lingue semitiche.

5- L'alfabeto arabo si diffuse nella Terra di Canan meridionale (nelle attuali Giordania e Palestina) mentre il Latino si diffuse nella Terra di Canan settentrionale(gli attuali Libano e Siria). L'alfabeto in uso oggi in Europa proviene dalla nostra parte di mondo.

6- La popolazione della Terra di Canan meridionale, Palestina inclusa, ha subito (sopportato) molte invasioni militari e quindici volte fu governata da re o imperatori (Persiani, romani, Omayyadi, Abbasidi, Israeliti, etc.)

7- Nel corso del tempo le idee religiose si sono evolute da quelle cananee pagane a quelle monoteistiche del Cristianesimo (I secolo), al Giudaismo Rabbinico (III secolo), all'Islam (VII secolo).

8- La Palestina è sempre stata caratterizzata da una società multi religiosa e multiculturale, nonostante i tentativi di omologazione compiuti in certi periodi (ad esempio, i Crocaiti uccisero ed esiliarno Ebrei, Musulmani e Cristiani appartenenti ad altre sette).

9- La popolazione ebraica attuale – così come quella cristiana e musulmana attuale – ha origini etniche e retroterra culturali differnziati. È quindi geneticamente (biologicamente) eterogenea.

10- Prima dell'ondata migratoria degli Ebrei europei, i Palestinesi appartenevano a numerose religioni: circa 85% Musulmani, 10% Cristiani, 5% Ebrei e altri. Per centinaia d'anni i Palestinesi di diversi credo religiosi vissero in relativa armonia.

11- Il Sionismo è un'idea politica che si diffuse fra una minoranza di Ebrei europei che adottarono le nozioni europee del nazionalismo etnocentrico e quindi sostenevano che, a causa delle disriminaizoni subite in Europa -  gli Ebrei dovessero raccogliersi tutti in Palestina e creare uno Stato ebraico. I socialisti ebrei assieme ad altri Ebrei credevano nella lotta per i dirritti all'uguaglianza. I sionisti credevano che i sentimenti antiebraici fossero funzionali ai loro interessi (al loro progetto) e così collaborarono con i razzisti. Ci fu un accordo fra il movimento sionistia e il Terzo Reich per il trasferimento degli ebrei in Palestina. I sionisti esercitarono pressioni sui governi occidentali affinchè non accogliessero profughi/rifugiati Ebrei europei, così questi sarebbero tutti quanti andati in Palestina.

12- Il Sionismo comparve alla metà del XIX secolo con l'istituzione dell'”Associazione per la Colonizzazione Ebraica” e divenne un movimento internazionale nel 1897 con il primo Congresso Mondiale Sionista. Per raggiungere l' obiettivo i suoi leader proposero il trasferimento della popolazione autoctona non ebraica.

13- Gli Stati Uniti e altri Paesi occidentali, sotto l'influenza di una lobby sionista spinsero per la creazione di uno “Stato ebraico” di Israele in Palestina nonostante le aspirazioni della polazione autoctona.

14- Fra il 1947-1949, 530 villaggi e città palestinesi furono completamente distrutti e i loro abitanti trasformati in profughi. Il costringre i Palestinesi ad abbandonare la loro terra continuò in altre forme fino alla fondazione dello Stato di Israele nel maggio 1948. Oggi il 70%degli 11 milioni di Palestinesi nel mondo sono rifugiati o profughi.

15-  Attualmente Israele dispone di una serie di leggi discriminatorie che combaciano con la descrizione data nella  Convenzione Internazionale sulla Repressione e l'Eliminazione del Crimine di Apartheid. Ogni mese,  il Parlamento israeliano vara nuove leggi razziste.     

16- Nel 1967, Israele occupò la West Bank - Cisgiordania (compresa la città vecchia di Gerusalemme) e la Striscia di Gaza. Assieme queste due aree costituiscono il 22% della Palestina storica.Israele iniziò inmediatamente a costruire insediamenti di coloni ebrei in queste aree palestinesi. Contravvenendo alle Leggi internazionali esistono ora più di 200 insediamenti colonici nelle nostre terre che ospitano più di mezzo milione di coloni ebraici.

17- Israele ha costruito muri attorno alle rimanenti enclaves palestinesi (ghetti,  lager,  aree circoscritte, riserve) e le ha isolate una dall'altra e dal resto della Palestina. Questi muri separano i Palestinesi dalle loro terre  dalle scuole, dagli ospedali, etc. Per esempio, il distretto di Betlemme ospita 180.000 autoctoni, circa 50.000 di noi ci vive come profugo dal 1948 . Ci viene impedito ogni forma di progresso e viviamo sul 13% dell'area originale del distretto di Betlemme. L'87% del distretto è sotto controllo degli insediamenti israeliani, delle basi militari, e di aree militari  inacassibili. La gente di Betlemme è isolata dietro il muro e anche Gerusalemme (distante 6 km) è off-limits per noi.

18- Il colonialismo implica violenza. Oltre 80 massacri sono stati perpetrati contro i nativi Palestinesi . Oltre 60.000 civili sono stati uccisi dalle forze dell'esercito israeliano  e dai coloni, un numero dieci volte maggiore dei civili israeliani (perlopiù coloni) uccisi dai Palestinesi. Negli ultimi 130 anni i Palestinesi hanno resistito al colonialismo soprattutto attraverso la resistenza popolare nonviolenta, un argomento di cui si è parlato poco nell'Occidente nel tentativo di denigrare le vittime.

19- I Palestinesi e altri Paesi arabi nel conflitto con il Sionismo sono stati “Irragionevolmente ragionevoli”, come affermò un diplomatico. Noi accettiamo tutti i dettami della legge internazionale e tutte le risoluzioni delle Nazioni Unite sulla questione. Al contrario Israele ha violato 60 risoluzioni del Consiglio di Sicurezza e oltre 200 dell'Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite. Se gli Stati Uniti non ricorressero al diritto di veto per proteggere Israele dalla legge internazionale, questi numeri raddoppierebbero.

20-  Noi Palestinesi chiediamo e lottiamo per il nostro diritto al ritorno e alla autodeterminazione. Vogliamo uno Stato democratico e pluralista che riconosca i diritti agli appartenenti di tutte le religioni nella nostra patria storica della Palestina. Vogliamo uguaglianza e giustizia. Le persone in Europa e nel mondo possono sostenerci con la diffusione nelle scuole di ciò che sta accadendo, venendoci a visitare e attraverso il Boicottaggio, Disinvestimento e Sanzioni (BDS). Si tratta di una lotta umana collettiva simile a quanto

ci sono molti libri e riferimenti a disposizione per documentare ogni punto

Jan 3, 2012

I am sick of

The end of the world is Dec 21, 2012 according to the Mayan Calendar being  the year 5125.  I do not know about that but I do know that the window of opportunity to end the world of privilege and chosenness is quickly closing and we must have enough people involved in speaking truth to power and finally removing this power from the elites.  The alternative is deterioration into a real end of world scenario where humans are on each other’s throats fighting over remnant natural resources depleted and destroyed by greed.  To get an idea of how crazy this world can be just listen to US presidential contenders falling over each other to support Israeli apartheid and racism and promise more wars (this time on Iran).  Is this little blue planet worth saving?  There are millions of other planets after all.  If your answer is yes, then you belong to one of two groups of people: activists who do something about their conviction or apathetic people that do not act on their convictions.

Orwellian interlude: Israeli forces confiscated speakers from a Jaffa mosque because of a complaint about the noise of the call to prayer from the neighbor of the mother of the Israeli foreign minister (the Moldavian bar bouncer)

Below are videos about Palestinian life as it existed before it was targeted for destruction by Zionists, video by Palestinians “sick of..”, video of why the West hates Arabs, video of Israeli soldiers’ treatment of Palestinian natives at checkpoints.  Also there are videos of good actions against Israeli blood diamonds.  Below are also opinions about US policies and our individual responsibility going forward.

Palestinian people- photographs of life before Zionism worked to destroy it

I am sick of….63 years of Nakba
Palestinian Refugees at the Human Rights March in Tel Aviv !!!!

[must see] Israeli soldiers treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints

An example of a great action: Boycott Israeli Blood Diamonds info stalls in Cork and Dublin 11-12-2011

Living in the shadow of the Wall
Bethlehem residents can only watch as the Israeli Wall surrounds the town and slowly chokes the life out of it http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/12/2011122782553652882.html

For this reason the west hates Arabs

Imagine armed Chinese troops in Texas
Ron Paul’s “What If” speech

An “Historic Partnership” With The Devil – An Analysis (29 December 2011) by Lawrence Davidson  [scroll to assay 1 from Prof. Davidson to read about how New York and Cornell are supporting apartheid]

To be Consequent as an Internationalist New Year 2012

Updated upcoming Events of my tour (US, Italy, Belgium, Amsterdam)

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Striving to "Stay Human"